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Advanced Introduction to Legal Reasoning

Paperback

Advanced Introduction to Legal Reasoning

9781789903164 Edward Elgar Publishing
Larry Alexander, Warren Distinguished Professor of Law, University of San Diego School of Law and Emily Sherwin, Frank B. Ingersoll Professor of Law, Cornell Law School, US
Publication Date: 2021 ISBN: 978 1 78990 316 4 Extent: 200 pp
This insightful and highly readable Advanced Introduction provides a succinct, yet comprehensive, overview of legal reasoning, covering both reasoning from canonical texts and legal decision-making in the absence of rules. Overall, it argues that there are only two methods by which judges decide legal disputes: deductive reasoning from rules and unconstrained moral, practical, and empirical reasoning.

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Critical Acclaim
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Elgar Advanced Introductions are stimulating and thoughtful introductions to major fields in the social sciences, business and law, expertly written by the world’s leading scholars. Designed to be accessible yet rigorous, they offer concise and lucid surveys of the substantive and policy issues associated with discrete subject areas.

This insightful and highly readable Advanced Introduction provides a succinct, yet comprehensive, overview of legal reasoning, covering both reasoning from canonical texts and legal decision-making in the absence of rules. Overall, it argues that there are only two methods by which judges decide legal disputes: deductive reasoning from rules and unconstrained moral, practical, and empirical reasoning.

• discussion and analysis of the interpretive methods used in legal decision-making
• guidance for the reader through the debates on analogical reasoning and construction of legal principles
• a defense of intention-based interpretation of legal rules and natural reasoning in law.

This Advanced Introduction will be an invaluable resource for students looking for an overview of the subject. It will also be useful for legal practitioners, scholars, and judges.

Critical Acclaim
‘In an eminently lucid book, Alexander and Sherwin argue that legal reasoning is just not special or distinct. Whether or not one agrees with their claim, no one reading their wonderful and engaging book can escape the conclusion that their reasoning, and their book, are quite special. Perhaps their book could have been called “Advanced Introduction to Reasoning”.’
– Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash, University of Virginia, US

‘Building on their previous and highly influential work, Alexander and Sherwin go well beyond what they have said before to offer an analysis of legal reasoning that not only introduces the subject, but also makes important cutting-edge academic contributions to our understanding of legal interpretation, rules, precedent, and the very functions of law.’
– Frederick Schauer, University of Virginia, US
Contents
Contents: Introduction to legal reasoning PART I THE FUNCTION OF LAW 1. Settling moral controversy PART II REASONING FROM CANONICAL TEXTS 2. Interpreting posited rules 3. Infelicities of, and norms constraining, intended meaning 4. Non-intentionalist interpretation PART III COMMON LAW REASONING 5. Natural reasoning and deduction from rules 6. The mystification of common law reasoning 7. Judicial practice 8. All or nothing Bibliography Index
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